2017-01-22 - 2 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ Get a Job ~ Part 1
The Prayer of the Apostle
Paul now encouraged the Thessalonians to get back on track. The important issue wasn’t prophetic, as important as prophecy may be. The true focus must be on the continued dissemination of the message of salvation. So Paul requested they pray that the work wouldn’t be hindered. He desired the rapid expansion of the Gospel, and that it would be well-received.
So Paul completed his main argument. Next he moved on to a secondary issue, which appears to flow from the previous one. This confirms that the walk of faith can’t be grounded in the latest theological fad. This also reminds us that part of being an example for the Lord requires us to be responsible members of the society.
Paul also desired prayer for protection from wicked men who were interfering with his work. It is generally accepted Paul is referring to those Jews that had been trying to stop his work back in Corinth.
“But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal” (Acts 18:12ff).
But though men are sometimes unfaithful, God isn’t. So Paul may have not only been encouraging the believers, but himself. It wouldn’t be surprising if he said, as we too may have at one time or another, “This would be a great world, if there weren’t for the people.”
So as Paul asked for prayer, he is again reminded just how much the Lord had been doing among the Thessalonians. And while his confidence couldn’t be in people, it certainly could be in God. Paul had no doubt the Lord would continue to work with these believers, helping them grow and be obedient to what they had been taught. So he prayed they would be led by God, and would continue to receive the gift of perseverance.
On the other hand, Paul has to bring up one more concern about something going on in the church. Now one might ask what this warning against idleness has got to do with what has been already stated? Think back again to Paul’s concern about the response to the misunderstandings about the issue of the Day of the Lord. Well apparently there was another result of this problem.
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.